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La Ferté-sous-Jouarre Site of the memorial, unveiled in 1928, to the 3,888 British soldiers who were killed in the retreat from the Marne in September 1914 but had no known grave.

Lausanne, Treaty of Peace treaty signed between the Allies and Turkey in July 1923, replacing the obsolete Treaty of Sèvres, which had been agreed in August 1920. It granted Turkey large areas of European territory including Constantinople and Gallipoli.

Lawrence, T E (1888-1935) Also known as 'Lawrence of Arabia'. He joined British military intelligence in Cairo on the outbreak of the First World War, from where he established strong ties with the Arab leader, Sherif Husein of Mecca. As an adviser to Husein's son Feisal, Lawrence helped to organise the Arab revolt against the Turks (begun in June 1915), which played an important part in the eventual Allied triumph on the Palestine front. The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, a highly regarded account of his wartime experiences in the Middle East, was published privately in 1926. Lawrence was killed in a motorcycle crash in 1935, since when he has remained one of the First World War's most charismatic and controversial military leaders.

Le Queux, William (1864-1927) British spy writer. Author of such books as The Invasion of 1910 (1906) and German Spies in England: An exposure (1915).

League of Nations International association of states designed to safeguard world peace, the brainchild of American president Woodrow Wilson. A 'Covenant of the League of Nations' was incorporated into the terms of all of the post-war peace treaties in 1919 and 1920. The League met for the first time in November 1920, but its credibility was seriously undermined by the non-participation of the USA. It held its last meeting in April 1946, before being superseded by the United Nations.

Lemburg Town in eastern Galicia. Scene of a series of battles between Russian and Austro-Hungarian forces between 23 August and 12 September 1914, during which the latter were forced to withdraw to the Habsburg garrison of Przemysl. map

Lenin, Vladimir Ilyich (1870-1924) Leader of the Bolshevik revolution and the first head of state in Soviet Russia, 1917-24. Lenin was returned from exile into Russia aboard a German military train in April 1917. Wanting no part in the Allied war effort, he was the driving force behind the separate peace treaty concluded by Russia with Germany at Brest-Litovsk 11 months later.

Lettow-Vorbeck, General Paul Emil von (1870-1946) Appointed military commander of German East Africa in 1914, he was a master of irregular warfare; his small band of troops kept larger Allied forces in the region occupied for much of the First World War.

Lloyd George, David (1863-1945) Liberal MP, 1890-1945; chancellor of the Exchequer, 1908-15; appointed minister of munitions in May 1915, a position he held with distinction; replaced Asquith as prime minister on 7 December 1916 amid mounting criticism of Britain's conduct of the war. Lloyd George clashed with 'Westerners' such as Haig over what he saw as the futile slaughter in Belgium and France, but successfully pushed for a more vigorous and organised pursuit of the war. Returned to office in the December 1918 'coupon election', he was unable to modify the harsh treatment of Germany meted out at the Paris peace conference in 1919.

Lody, Carl Hans (1877-1914) German naval officer. The first foreign spy to be executed in Britain - in November 1914 at the Tower of London - for espionage during the First World War.

London, Treaty of Treaty signed in 1839 by the Great Powers, promising to respect the independence and neutrality of Belgium.

Loos Town to the NW of Lens in NE France. Scene of an unsuccessful British attack on the German line (25 September-8 October 1915), in which 60,000 men were killed, wounded or captured. map

Ludendorff, General Erich (1863-1945) German general, who served with distinction in Belgium and under Hindenburg in eastern Prussia in 1914; appointed joint supreme commander of the German army - again with Hindenburg - in August 1916; suffered a breakdown after the failure of the Ludendorff offensive on the Western Front in the spring and early summer of 1918.

Ludendorff offensive Germany's final bid for victory on the Western Front between March and July 1918. It was, in fact, a series of small operations that were characterised by initial German breakthroughs that proved impossible to follow up.

Lusitania Flagship British passenger liner owned by the Cunard Line. Sunk off the southern coast of Ireland by a German submarine torpedo on 7 May 1915, with the loss of 1,192 lives, including 128 citizens of the then neutral USA. Both Germany and Britain made great propaganda play of the incident.

Lützow The only German battle cruiser sunk by the British naval fleet at the Battle of Jutland (31 May-1 June 1916).

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